Introduction to Kansas Library Standards

The Kansas Public Library Standards are intended to help libraries measure their current level of library service, and to help them improve program, collection and information access in their local libraries.

This version of the Kansas Public Library Standards was created by the seven Regional Library Systems and the Kansas Library Association, coordinating with the State Library of Kansas.

We believe the public interest is best served through cooperation and resource sharing among libraries. We believe cooperative mutual support among all types of libraries will yield the greatest benefits in service for the public from limited library resources.

These standards are intended to be utilized by library boards and directors to meet local community needs.

The Kansas Public Library Standards reflect high, but reasonable and achievable levels of library service. Kansas citizens and Kansas communities deserve no less.

The Kansas Public Library Standards are intended to help libraries measure their current level of library service, and to help them improve programs, collections and information access.  The standards are also meant to be used as a planning tool for future development in Kansas public libraries.

The Kansas Public Library Standards contain goals for libraries that reflect high, but reasonable and attainable levels of library service, while recognizing the contributions that public libraries currently make to the lives of Kansas citizens and the vitality of Kansas communities.

The 2012 Public Library Standards Committee:

  • Carol Barta, North Central Kansas Library System
  • Mickey Coalwell, Northeast Kansas Library System
  • Laura DeBaun, Northeast Kansas Library System
  • Sara McFarland. Southwest Kansas Library System
  • Chris Rippel, Central Kansas Library System
  • Shannon Roy, State Library of Kansas
  • Kim Rutter, Southeast Kansas Library System
  • George Seamon, Northwest Kansas Library System
  • Tom Taylor, South Central Kansas Library System

Library Service Levels

The Kansas Public Library Standards identify library service levels corresponding to service populations. Population serves as a guideline only; libraries should strive to provide the highest service levels feasible in their communities, regardless of population. The standards are intended to apply to legally established libraries.

Service Level Recommended Population Range
Gateway Fewer than 500 people
Linking 501-1,000 people
Service Center I 1,001-2,500 people
Service Center II 2,501 – 10,000 people
Major Service Center I 10,001-25,000 people
Major Service Center II 25,001-100,000 people
Major Resource Center More than 100,000 people

A GATEWAY LIBRARY provides an access point with trained personnel where users can be connected to information services meeting their personal and professional needs. Emphasis is placed on supplying recreational reading needs through current materials, public access to online information resources, and regional resources.

A LINKING LIBRARY provides an access point with trained personnel where users can be linked to information services meeting their personal and professional needs. Linking Libraries provide increased hours of service, a stronger locally owned collection of current materials, and direct access by library users to an online catalog of the library’s collection.

A SERVICE CENTER I LIBRARY provides substantially expanded hours of service including hours convenient to all members of the community, and popular, high interest resources to meet the educational, recreational and informational needs of community residents. The library’s collections should reflect broad subject coverage with materials in a variety of formats, including digital resources. The library provides a significant level of information technology, including direct remote access by library users to an online catalog of the library’s collection.

A SERVICE CENTER II LIBRARY provides additional hours of service convenient to the public, including substantial evening and weekend hours, well-trained library staff with significant academic education, an enhanced level of information technology including direct remote access to an online library catalog, and popular, high interest resources to meet the educational, recreational and informational needs of community residents in an extended service area. A Service Center II Library’s collections should reflect broad subject coverage, with materials in a variety of formats including digital resources.

A MAJOR SERVICE CENTER I LIBRARY provides modern library resources, service programs, extensive hours of service, and a professionally trained library administrator and other staff to meet the educational, recreational and informational needs of the community and the surrounding county or multi-county area. A Major Service Center I Library should provide broad subject coverage of informational and popular materials in a variety of formats, including digital formats, for persons of all ages, and a significant level of information technology, including direct remote access by library users to an online catalog of the library’s collection and to regional and statewide resources.

A MAJOR SERVICE CENTER II LIBRARY provides extensive library resources, service programs, and a professionally trained library administrator and other staff to meet the educational, recreational and informational needs of the community and the surrounding county or multi-county area. The library provides professionally trained staff, expanded hours of service, and a more extensive array of technology related services, including direct remote access by library users to an online catalog of the library’s collection and to regional and statewide resources. A Major Service Center II should provide broad subject coverage of informational and popular materials in a variety of formats, including digital formats, for persons of all ages.

A MAJOR RESOURCE LIBRARY is one of the principal libraries in Kansas, providing in-depth collections and services on a regional and statewide basis. A Major Resource Library has an extensive professionally trained staff and provides a broad range of services that are actively marketed to all segments of the community. The library has a broad array of technology services, including extensive public computing facilities, training programs, and direct remote access by library users to an online catalog of the library’s collection and to regional and statewide resources. The library facility, which may include branch library locations, provides ample space for a strong library collection, especially digital resources, and for extensive public meeting and training spaces.

Document PDF Available.